Lipofilling (or lipostructure) involves injecting the patient's fat in order to reshape the face or the body (breasts, buttocks, intimate areas, etc.). This technique is well suited to people who do not wish to use implants or injectables.
The fat injection can be done on the face or body. The face requires little volume. The surgeon always finds adequate reserves, even in thin people. For the body, the surgeon needs a larger amount of fat, while being subject to two constraints. On the one hand, the donor must have sufficient reserves of fat and thin people are not eligible for lipofilling. On the other hand, the surgeon must avoid injecting more than 500g of fat during a session to prevent necrosis of the fatty tissue. Indeed, a fat graft which is too compact will not be nourished by the surrounding tissues and the cells die.
- Filling in wrinkles from the first signs of ageing: horizontal forehead wrinkles, frown lines, crow's feet, nasolabial folds, marionette lines, etc.
- Giving volume to the temples, cheekbones, sunken dark circles, sub-orbital region, cheeks, contours of the face and chin.
- Making the lips fuller.
- Giving instant radiance: its own collagen improves the nutrition of the skin tissues (trophicity) besides having a filling and volumising effect.
- Corrects severe acne sequelae (scars in the shape of craters).
Breast lipofilling is becoming increasingly popular among women who do not wish to use artificial silicone gel implants. It moderately increases the volume of the breasts, conceals some cosmetic defects and has a lifting effect on the support of the breasts.
- Making the buttocks firmer, higher and more curved. When the surgeon removes the fat from above the buttocks or the saddlebags, it is even a complete makeover of the pelvis.
Intimate surgery lipofilling
- Phalloplasty : Expanding the diameter of the penis by 1 to 2 cm in circumference per procedure.
- Vaginoplasty: The injected fat improves the trophicity of the vaginal mucosa when it tends to dry out after the age of 45.
- Nymphoplasty: Increase the size of the labia when they are too small or rejuvenate them when they are wrinkled.
Other areas of the body
- Shaping all of the leg by reshaping the ankles and calves.
- Correcting asymmetrical calves.
- Correcting "corrugated sheet" irregularities when the liposuction has left hollows and visible bumps on the skin. Young people with good skin elasticity can hope for a good correction, but in an older patients whose skin is loosened, the improvement is modest.
- Filling in a pectus excavatum, a rib cage malformation where the sternum is depressed.
How the procedure works
The lipofilling technique has existed for more than 20 years. Surgeons who performed liposuction had the idea of using the extracted fat and reinjecting it to be used as a filler or for reshaping. Dr Fournier, one of the pioneers of liposuction in France, first experimented with the technique of reinjecting fat into the face in around 1985. He presented his first results in scientific journals and at cosmetic surgery conferences all around the world. Surgeons then began to do the first trial injections of fat into breasts, buttocks, calf muscles, etc.
The procedure is carried out under local or general anaesthetic depending on the areas, without hospitalisation and lasts between 1 and 2 hours.
There are two very distinct phases :
The removal of fat cells
The liposuction is performed in a donor area, which may be any bulge located in the stomach, thighs, hips, knees, etc.
This is a fat autograft, as the donor and the recipient are the same person. The injected fat is 100% tolerated by the body, so there is no risk of rejection or allergy.
2 methods are then possible, depending on the habits of the practitioners.
Either the fat is passed to the centrifuge: The centrifuge technique was popularised by Dr Coleman in 1995. The surgeon uses the centrifuge technique on the extracted fatty cells to rid them of their impurities before reinjecting them in puree form.
Or the fat is directly reinjected : This technique keeps the fatty cells in their original fluid (physiological saline solution, interstitial fluid), which protects them and increases their chances of survival when they are transferred.
Regardless of the method used, with or without the centrifuge, it has been proven that they both work. The important thing is to trying to keep the largest possible number of fatty cells alive during the extraction and reinjection so that a higher proportion of the graft takes hold.
The injection of fat into the recipient area is in the form of micro-balls of the fatty tissue distributed in the space to be filled, so that the grafted cells are in contact with the capillaries and are able to provide them with the oxygen and nutrients they need to survive. It is this technical aspect which makes a greater or lesser percentage of the fat graft take hold or not.
After the procedure
In the area form which the fat is taken there is oedema and bruising, the importance of which varies according to the amount of fat taken, as is the case with any liposuction. At the injected area, bruising is rare and there is slight swelling for a few days.
The patient can soon return to their daily activities. Depending on the treated area, there may be discomfort for a few days, for example sitting down after buttock lipofilling may be slightly painful.
The lipofilling results are immediately visible. An average of between one to three sessions are needed to achieve the desired end result, which is permanent.
At each session, part of the fatty tissue graft will take hold and another part will gradually be absorbed. It is therefore necessary, from the outset, for the patient to emotionally ready to be a bit disappointed immediately after the operation. In general, the amount of fat decreases by 30 to 60% depending on the case. This decrease in volume should not be confused with the final result, which is permanent.
The injected fat then reacts in the same way as the fat present elsewhere in the body. Its amount increases if the person puts weight on and decreases if the person loses weight. But regardless of weight changes, the shape of the area treated by the lipostructure will be kept in proportion.
|Intervention||Anaesthetic||Stay||Prices including VAT*|
|Facial lipofilling||Local||Outpatient||€2,900 to €3,500|
|Body lipofilling||General||Outpatient||€4,500 to €6,000|
|Other fees||Prices including VAT*|
|Consultation with the surgeon||€50|
|Consultation with the anaesthetist||€100|
* 20% VAT